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Thread: Chinese New Year 2015 - Year of the RAM

  1. #1
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    Chinese New Year 2015 - Year of the RAM

    2015 is the Year of the Ram. See what your future holds with predictions from our Feng Shui columnist, Wilson Sun - KungFuMagazine.com's Chinese Horoscopes.


    Official KungFuMagazine.com 2015 Year of the Ram T-shirt


    Official Tiger Claw 2015 Year of the Ram T-shirt

    Gong Xi Fa Cai! 農曆新年! Gung Hay Fat Choy!
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #2
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    Happy Chinese New Year! Win a CHINESE LION from MartialArtsMart.com! TODAY ONLY!

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  3. #3
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    Last night's Spring Festival Gala on CCTV

    I was flipping back and forth to this during the commercial breaks for the finale of The Mentalist and by pure luck caught the Kung Fu act. It was impressive because of the chair balancing acrobatics.

    There's a vid in both news items.
    Kungfu boys ready to pack a punch
    CCTV.com
    02-17-2015 05:12 BJT
    Full coverage: 2015 Spring Festival

    Kungfu shows are an annual fixture at CCTV's Spring Festival Gala. This year, after several rounds of fierce competition, a group of teenagers from a martial arts school in East China have made it to the gala stage.



    Kungfu shows are an annual fixture at CCTV's Spring Festival Gala.



    Kungfu shows are an annual fixture at CCTV's Spring Festival Gala.

    With their creative moves and dazzling skills, these teenagers from the Shandong Laizhou Martial Arts School kicked their way through the selection process. The heat is on to present their best to the audience on the eve of Chinese New Year.

    "I've practiced the moves numerous times. I'm even getting cramps in my limbs. But I can't stop because the gala is so important and I believe I can do better." Said Li Xiaoqi, performer.

    Their repertoire also features a jujitsu interlude, which will see contortionist Wei Wei present her unbelievably flexible and elegant maneuvers.

    "Hard and soft tactics are two inseparable elements of martial arts. I will bring the soft and graceful part to the audience. I'm very happy and excited to perform at the gala," She said.

    This year's gala is the third in a row to feature the students of the Shandong Laizhou Martial Arts School. And the performers are hoping to continue their track record of stunning the audience.
    Laizhou Martial Art School returns to Spring Festival Gala
    English.news.cn 2015-02-19 14:58:53

    BEIJING, Feb. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- The CCTV Spring Festival Gala is known for catapulting many of its performers to stardom. And the young performers in this next story have been making the annual variety gala the finest showcase of Chinese culture. Whether as flying tigers, or hidden dragons, the students from the Laizhou Zhonghua Martial Arts School are the masters of the stage.

    These little lambs are hard at work, getting pumped up for their most important event of the year, the CCTV Spring Festival gala.

    From 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon, these young martial artists rehearse every day, perfecting each and every move.

    You'd never guess, at such tender age, some of them are already at the top of their league and holders of a Guiness World Record.

    Meet Qianqian--at just 6 years old, she holds the record for the youngest person to perform the most consecutive back handsprings--40. Compared with that, appearing at the CCTV Spring Festival three years in row is probably as easy as falling off a log.

    That's not to say those many classmates don't want to see themselves on TV one day. Qianqian is the only girl from the prestigious Laizhou Zhonghua Martial Arts School contingent performing this year. What the radiant girl didn't tell us was that she had just recovered from a fall from a two-storey height during a practice session.

    She tells me she's busy learning new moves while mentoring six fellow students.Past graduates from Laizhou have gone on to become martial arts instructors or joining the special forces. But neither role comes close to the stardom offered by performing at the CCTV Spring Festival gala.

    For many of these children, it's a dream come true to be able to perform on the grand stage of the Spring Festival gala, but the dream doesn't end here. And they've got the talents to show it.

    And in the spirit of a true TV host, she gets up and shows me exactly what she means, taking on the role at this year's gala and announcing the program of her school.

    And a few rehearsals later there is no doubt who will be the brightest star, the evening of the CCTV gala.

    (Source: CNTV.cn)
    The rest of the gala seemed like that typical Chinese song & dance variety show. The audience looked really bored. It amazes me that this show draws 700 million viewers.
    Gene Ching
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    Gun Hei Faat Choy

    Gung Hei Faat Choy. (Happy New Year).
    http://youtu.be/9NtwG1dVndQ
    Sifu Phillip Redmond
    Traditional Wing Chun Academy NYC/L.A.
    菲利普雷德蒙師傅
    傳統詠春拳學院紐約市

    WCKwoon
    wck
    sifupr

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    Apparently not a favored year...

    "The true meaning of a given movement in a form is not its application, but rather the unlimited potential of the mind to provide muscular and skeletal support for that movement." Gregory Fong

  6. #6
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    More on the Gala

    Bigger than the Oscars, Emmys, American Idol finales, MTV Video Music Awards and the Super Bowl combined. And equally as vapid. But it does have Kung Fu.

    Behind the show that's bigger than the Super Bowl
    By David McKenzie, CNN
    Updated 1:21 AM ET, Thu February 19, 2015
    China's Lunar New Year show is bigger than the Super Bowl

    China's Lunar New Year show is bigger than the Super Bowl 02:27
    Story highlights

    China wants its annual Lunar New Year Gala to go global.
    It has made deals with YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google.
    Gala organizers say 700 million viewers tuned into the show last year.

    Beijing, China (CNN)Hu Mingming lands spin-kicks and splits with ease, but her hands are shaking too much to tie a bow.

    She is a student at the famous Henan Shaolin Martial Arts School. In recent years, their gravity-defying brand of kung fu has become a staple of the annual televised Lunar New Year Gala.

    "Last year I watched my classmates perform on stage and I felt nervous for them. Now it is my turn," says Hu.

    She has a right to be nervous.

    The gala, a variety show broadcast on state television since 1983, is a cultural phenomenon and a key propaganda tool of the Chinese Communist Party.

    It's also a ratings juggernaut.

    Ratings anyone?

    Combine the viewers of the Oscars, Emmys, American Idol finales and MTV Video Music Awards -- then throw in the Super Bowl ratings for good measure -- you are not even close.

    Organizers like to say that more than 90% of Chinese families tune in. Last year, it drew more than 700 million viewers.

    "There is a huge amount of pressure," says Zhang Hu, Hu's coach, who has also performed in the gala. "And each rehearsal is like an inspection."

    Just days before the real deal and after months of practice, the producers are still cutting segments to fine tune the show to around 36 acts.

    At Saturday's rehearsal, performers hustled backstage near studio doors manned by security guards in white gloves.

    Chinese opera singers adjusted their elaborate headgear; 5-year-old acrobats swarmed around movie stars and a group of glamorous dancers posed for selfies.



    Going Global

    On the sidelines of the mayhem, the acrobats, crooners and pop starlets all had the same mantra for me: This year the gala is going global.

    They are impressively on message.

    In recent months, state broadcaster CCTV has touted business deals with YouTube, Google and Twitter to reach out to a global audience with coverage of this year's Gala.

    Never mind that all of those websites are blacked out by Communist Party censors inside of China, provoking widespread ridicule by Chinese netizens.

    "Different countries have different Internet regulations. It's not up to us," said Jing Chunhan, a spokesman for CCTV, adding that the Chinese have plenty of ways to watch inside China.

    CCTV has even rented a video billboard in the heart of New York's Time Square to plug the show.

    Some academics see it as an unusually overt push to win hearts and minds amongst the some fifty million Chinese in the diaspora.

    "This aggressive push for Chinese soft power is new," says Tao Xie, a professor of International Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University. "The approach in the past used to be cautious and low profile."

    Time for a nap?

    For soft power to work, though, the gala needs to stay relevant. When it began more than three decades ago, there wasn't much else on offer for entertainment in China.

    Now, even the heavily censored Chinese internet is stiff competition.

    Hong Kong celebrates Lunar New Year

    Last year, young Chinese started a meme online with photos of their relatives sleeping through the gala on the couch.

    But watching the program is still a force of habit for many Chinese.

    Xu Baoyu, a college senior at the University of Iowa, says she used to watch the show because it was "just there."

    On Wednesday, she says she will be watching the gala on YouTube from her off campus apartment in Iowa City.

    "The Spring Festival just doesn't feel complete without the gala," she told CNN by phone. "Although I do like to mock the show while my mom is watching in China."

    CNN's Serena Dong and Shen Lu contributed to this report.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  7. #7
    I used to hang out in a Vietnamese coffee house. In the 2 years I hung out there I was the only non Asian I ever saw there.
    Anyway, one day some dragon dancers showed up. Being the only white guy there, they had some fun with me. The things you put up with for *****.
    Last edited by boxerbilly; 02-20-2015 at 10:24 AM.

  8. #8
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    virtual hongbao

    WeChat users exchanged over 1 billion virtual hongbao on New Year's Eve



    A total of 1.01 billion red envelopes were exchanged through Tencent's WeChat on Chinese New Year's Eve, the social media company said yesterday.

    Hongbao, red envelopes stuffed with cash, are typically given out on celebratory occasions such as the Lunar New Year and weddings.

    Tech giants including Alibaba, Sina and Baidu all launched services in recent years allowing users to send and received digital money during the Chinese New Year. Tencent's WeChat was seemingly the most popular platform for virtual gift-giving this year, thanks in part to the annual CCTV Spring Festival Gala.

    The live show, arguably one of the most-watched programs in the world, used WeChat to give away 80 million USD provided by corporate sponsors in the form of virtual hongbao. When given the signal, WeChat users could shake their phones to win cash. Throughout the five-hour show, viewers shook their phones 11 billion times, Tencent said.

    The tech company didn't reveal the total amount of money transferred in the billion-plus hongbao on New Year's Eve, but the number of exchanges far exceeded the 20 million red envelopes given and received by WeChat users last year.



    [Image via CCTV]

    By Katie Nelson in News on Feb 20, 2015 10:00 AM
    I wonder when this might affect Lion Dancing.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  9. #9
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    New on our ezine

    YEAR of the RAM 2015 (or GOAT or SHEEP or EWE) by me. Because I just can't resist a cross-cultural teaching moment.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  10. #10
    So that didn't really clear anything up. lol. Good read though.

  11. #11
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    lolx2

    Quote Originally Posted by Syn7 View Post
    So that didn't really clear anything up.
    In this case, my intention wasn't to clear anything up. It was really just to explain why it's unclear. My bottom line here is that when it comes to translation, X doesn't always equal X.

    Oh, and then there's my real bottom line:
    Chinese New Year Sale at MartialArtsMart.com! Up to 50% off on select Chinese items! Offer ends March 6, 2015.

    Gotta pay the bills around here, doncha know?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  12. #12
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    Enjoyed your article Gene. Wish I'd known that sometimes "yang" also meant "rat" to some street vendors.



    I'm a "yang." You'd think this would be a lucky year for me, but apparently it isn't... I have no intention of wearing red underwear all year, or abstaining from lamb/goat, and I am planning on moving...so if anything terrible happens to me this year, you'll all know why.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    In this case, my intention wasn't to clear anything up. It was really just to explain why it's unclear. My bottom line here is that when it comes to translation, X doesn't always equal X.

    Oh, and then there's my real bottom line:
    Chinese New Year Sale at MartialArtsMart.com! Up to 50% off on select Chinese items! Offer ends March 6, 2015.

    Gotta pay the bills around here, doncha know?
    I choose goat. Goats are cool. They get into EVERYTHING, but otherwise, they make good pets. Not that I care about astrology crap, but the stories and paintings are cool.

    I think I'm a snake. Not sure though. Works for me, I like to grapple and choke people out. I've even submitted w/ a body triangle a few times.

  14. #14
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    Keep in mind that the lunar year doesn't line up perfectly with the Gregorian

    If you are born in January, you are the previous years sign. This is true for some of February too, depending on how the lunar and Gregorian calendars line up on that given year.

    Look: Henan village holds fierce sheep fight



    In the spirit of the Year of the Sheep, farmers at a village in Hua county, Henan province yesterday rounded up their finest fightin' sheep and gathered among friends to cheer on the creatures as they violently rammed into each other until their horns fell off.





    The Small-tail Han Sheep, known for their head-butting abilities, battled it out in front of hundreds of onlookers who were able to distinguish the animals by their drawn-on markings.





    The sheep were then divided according to age and weight in the single-elimination match.





    This is probably not what a certain political leader had in mind when he told his critics to "be more like sheep".

    [Images via China News]
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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